Body scrubs, nail polish and candles line the shelves of the Renew body + bath in Buffalo's Elmwood Village.
This store--between Bidwell and West Delavan--came to the neighborhood four years ago. But it's been on the mind of owner Tom Akers since the early 1990s, after a friend was diagnosed with cancer.
"During her doctors appointments she asked the doctor and he said her type of breast cancer...can be linked back to aluminums in your deodorants in your body products," Akers shared.
Within a year of her diagnosis, Aker's friend Janice died. And ever since, he has made it his mission to educate those around him about the harmful effects found in every day beauty products.
"When I sold out of my old business, I was too young to retire, and this was my true passion. So this is truly where I feel like I belong," he recalled.
Renew began with only six holistic beauty care products. Today, it's home to 40. And although it may seem overwhelming, the staff is knowledgeably and can tell you exactly what you need.
"It's important to ask what are you already putting on your skin. Are you already using a cleanser or a toner? Are you wearing sunscreen? What kind?" Renew employee Isaac Toth said.
The business offers weekly classes that focus on specific products and ingredients. The company also works with Roswell Park.
Akers said, "We offer a makeup class, which teaches the patient how to reapply eyelashes, eyebrows and makeup while they're going through treatments."
He also emphasized the importance of his staff's knowledge behind each product.
"Anytime that you come in, you're going to get a really customized customer service that is educated."